JLR strike set to go ahead, contingency measures in place
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is preparing itself for a knock-on impact on its production lines in the UK after delivery workers from logistics firm DHL voted in favour of industrial action.
July 10, 2013 / 05:28 PM IST
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is preparing itself for a knock-on impact on its production lines in the UK after delivery workers from logistics firm DHL voted in favour of industrial action. Trade union Unite announced that 86 per cent of DHL staff had voted in favour of a strike at the company's Halewood site last evening. This follows a 75 per cent vote in favour of strike action by JLR's staff at sister plants in Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands last week.
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However, a spokesperson said: "We're trying to resolve this through negotiation." JLR expressed disappointment at the decision but said contingency measures were in place to try and prevent the entire production line for the iconic luxury brands from grinding to a halt. "Jaguar Land Rover is disappointed that Unite members have voted in favour of industrial action. We encourage them to return to the negotiating table to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties as soon as possible," the company said in a statement today. "We will put several measures into place to minimise the impact of any potential industrial action upon our production schedule and ultimately our customers," it added.
The walkout is threatened by staff of logistics giant DHL, which has about 1,800 workers at JLR's three main factories - 1,000 between Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the Midlands and 800 at Halewood, Merseyside. They perform a key role in managing warehouse operations and bringing parts to production lines. DHL says Unite is demanding a pay increase of 12.8 per cent for operatives and 20.6 per cent for drivers, while the company had offered a 4.5 per cent pay increase for all its drivers, warehouse and in-plant operatives for 2013, with a guaranteed 3 per cent or RPI (retail price index) increase for 2014.
Any shutdown could potentially dent JLR's position as the biggest exporter of manufactured goods in the UK. Britain's iconic luxury car brands saw a major revival under the Tata banner and now generate export revenues of almost £11 billion a year and employ 24,000. In May, the company had revealed record annual pre-tax profits of £1.68 billion and is investing £2.7 billion this year to help launch new models to keep up with soaring demand from the emerging economies of India and China.